Darwin and Covington were never hired on as "naturalists"(or whatever the ten dollar word for puffy sleeve dilettante bug collectors were called then). Darwin was selected by a fluke in Fitzroy's crew list. Fitzroy's cousin was originally chosen to be a "hunter and supplier of meat and an "educated companion" for theCapt . However cousin bagged out and Fitzroy, a strict Biblical Fundamentalist , sought a like companion
Fitzroy was disturbed at Beagles history of having 2 prior captains ,commit suicide , rportedly because the captains quarters and deck-spaces were isolated from the crew spaces(The ship was only 90+ feet long and was (I suppose) broken into 30 feet for Fitzroy and 60 feet for the remaining crew.
So DArwin's sign on title was not as a naturalist or geologist (that grew as an assumption of duty when the original naturalist , the ship's surgeon Robt McCormick, apparently went nuts in Montevideo and abandoned the ship .
Darwin was, interviewed and accepted by Fitzroy because Fitzroy was already beginning to see the problems between an inerrant Bible and the young science of geology. Fitzroy specifically wanted a companion who shared his Fundamentalist views about the natural world and the ancient world. Darwin was apparently a real chameleon because he and Fitzroy published several "Creationist style" tracts while on the Beagle voyage. (THeyd write em up and drop em off at the next port of call and these were published by arrangement with the same publisher that handled Darwin's "Journals of Researches into th Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by the HMS Beagle
This book, as titled, wasnt a big seller. The publisher then had lunch with Darwin and said something to th effect that"
"Charlie, yer killin us with this title , Jesus H Chrisse , cant you come up with something snappier??"
So he retitled it "Voyage of the Beagle
. Charlie then became one of the most BS laden "experts" on geology and , I suggest that you read "Voyage..." , Its one of the most scientifically inaccurate volumes in the ENglish languauge, but his target audiences (He made his big money in doing the overcooked chicken an mushy peas circuit) loved it.
Apparently , according to several Darwin scholars, Charles was as effective a speaker as Don Knotts doing his nervous little guy imitation. So his speaking dates were often infilled by T Huxley who made science interesting in his "Sunday Evenings for the People" lectures .
It was Huxly who did most of the eviscerating of the Fundamentalist lecturers who tried to provide beleivable arguments against Darwin's work and later Mendelian genetics.
Youre "Skepticism" should be followed back to its original arguments in which Darwin, after 6 editions of the same book, finally felt his own argument was effective enough to stand on its own. His book "The Origin of Species..." was just an argument, what he called an "introduction to transmutation under natural selection"
But I digress.
In hiis ed 1 of "Origin...'' Darwin opens the book with
"While serving as naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle on its..."
yatta yatta something about rocks and seals and ****.
But he was historically miscast as "THE naturalist" when he wasnt, ever,(Mainly because he was never paid. In fact Darwin Paid Fitzroy for a five year trip and had to provision himself and Syms Covington, his man)
Apparently Darwin wasnt that bright, because he could have had Fitzroy buy his own MEAT provisions from "Charlie and Syms Meats Inc".
But I digress.